The secret to flat abs without endless stomach crunches and sit-ups
I get a lot of questions from people about the secret to flat abs without endless stomach crunches and sit-ups. Many find it relatively easy to lose weight in general, tone their upper body, arms and legs, but still be left with a giggly, protruding gut or, as some say, a “buddha belly.” If you’ve been committed to an exercise and core strength training routine but you still look down and see an unwanted paunch, you’re not alone. And, one potential solution might surprise you.
There’s more to killer abs than just exercise and abdominal crunches, turn out that there’s a direct relationship between the health of your digestive system and your overall look, too. Not only does what you eat affect whether or not you pack on pounds, but what you eat can also impact how your digestive system works, how it processes and eliminates waste effectively, as well as how it helps support the surrounding muscles and tissue.
Abs and an Upset Stomach
We’ve all experienced an upset stomach before that entails gas, cramps, bloating, general aches and pains, and even a distended abdomen. Imagine what it must look like on the inside, as your body fights off an irritant and in doing so, becomes inflamed. Inflammation is the body’s natural way of dealing with illness or injury, even something as minor as a dinner entree it doesn’t like. Food allergies, even minor ones that may not seem to bother you and food intolerance typically cause inflammation in the gut.
Here’s a potential missing link: the greater level of inflammation in your digestive system, the greater likelihood that your abdominal muscles will not respond to exercise. Why? Well, when you’ve got a stomach that’s inflamed, giving you pain, that inflammation can affect the abdominal muscles that are supposed to be stabilizing your core. In other words, those pain impulses that come from your digestive system can result in weakness and more pain in those regions of the abdominal wall. And, when those muscles become weak or disabled due to your (sick) digestive system, they aren’t much help to you and they won’t respond very well to your attempts to work them.
The term “digestive disorder” sounds serious, but it refers to just about any problem you might have with your digestive track, including minor nuisances like indigestion, heartburn, or simply an upset stomach. It’s no wonder we’ve got problems with our digestive systems with the availability of highly processed, poor quality foods just about every where we go, coupled by the fact many of us resort to fast foods while on-the-go.
A Diet That Agrees With Your Core
You know you have to make good choices when it comes to food, beverage, and getting proper exercise. It can be a challenge to eat well and exercise for purposes of losing or maintaining your ideal weight. But I bet you’ve never thought about how your digestive system can change the way your core responds to exercise. This takes the concept of “diet” to a whole new level. And, if you can factor this missing link in to your mentality when you’re grocery shopping, eating in a restaurant, or about to put something in your mouth, you might see the results you’ve finally been looking for. The goal is to get the internal workings of your core to be in harmony with the rest of your body so when you perform a core workout, and work those abs, you see the rewards in a tighter, flatter belly.
Here are a few tips:
- Enjoy your food by chewing it slowly and completely. Swallowing large particles of food puts stress on your digestive system. This will also help reduce the overall amount of foo d you eat.
- Avoid processed foods, especially foods high in preservatives, sodium, fillers, artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Read labels while in the supermarket. Watch out for words like “partially hydrogenated,” “artificially flavored,” or any words you don’t understand.
- Consider drinking organic dairy and juices, as pasteurization can kill the nutrients your body needs for proper digestion.
- Limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption.
- Try to target foods that bother you and avoid them. Food allergies, especially minor ones, can be hard to figure out. A food journal can facilitate this. Record any time you feel some discomfort following a meal.
- Drink lots of water! Dehydration leads to a host of problems. Being fully loaded with water will also allow you to get the most of your workout.
And, of course, don’t forget to keep up with your exercise and abdominal work routine. The road to a flat belly entails a combination of efforts. You’ll not only look better, but you’ll feel better, too!